Gainax Animation Studio Operating Out of 45-Year-Old Condo
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Gainax, the studio behind Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gunbuster, Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water, and Kare Kano, has downsized not only in animation output but also in office space. The company relocated to the "Hattori Building" in Musashino, Tokyo around October. Unlike its previous office space in Mitaka, Tokyo, the new location is actually a 45-year-old housing complex.
According to a private credit research company that the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper quotes, Gainax had an income of 240 million yen (about US$2.10 million) during the period ending in July 2016, a tenth of what it earned five years ago. The building change appears to be one of the ways the company is downsizing.
The company has also branched out into other avenues as of late, including tomato farming,a cram school, and a museum. Gainax studio offshoots, Gainax West, Yonago Gainax, and Gainax Fukushima have kept themselves busy with promotional anime works for cities and companies like Toho Bank.
Hideaki Anno and current Gainax president Hiroyuki Yamaga were friends and schoolmates at the Osaka University of Arts. They, along with Toshio Okada, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Shinji Higuchi, Yasuhiro Takeda, and Takami Akai, co-founded Gainax in 1985 (the company was formerly named Daicon Film after the anime shorts they made for the Daicon III and IV sci-fi conventions). At Gainax, Anno directed some of the studio's most iconic franchises, most notably Neon Genesis Evangelion, but also Gunbuster, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, and Kare Kano.
Anno left Gainax in 2007 to found Studio Khara, where he worked on the new Evangelion anime film series in collaboration with Gainax. Anno has since directed the Shin Godzilla film alongside Gainax co-founder Shinji Higuchi.
According to the filing at the Tokyo District Court's Tachikawa Branch, Khara and Gainax had an agreement that Khara would earn royalties from income Gainax received on works and properties that Khara founder and Gainax co-founder Hideaki Anno had worked on. Khara alleges that Gainax has delayed on paying these royalties. Gainax incurred a large debt with Khara. Khara loaned 100 million yen in August 2014, but has yet to receive repayment and is suing for about that amount.
Gainax West tweeted on December 1 that they have no capital relationship with Gainax. The company then followed up that tweet clarifying that "no capital relationship" doesn't mean that the lawsuit is irrelevant to Gainax West and it will always be partnered with Gainax.
Gainax founder Hiroyuki Yamaga issued a statement on Tuesday apologizing to the branch studios and everyone for causing any unease. He assured everyone that Gainax is reorganizing and managing operations to return to its previous form and the company is primarily focusing on planning and production to "advance step by step to make animated works loved by everyone."
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history